Anakana Schofield – Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

City in the turbine

So here’s something peculiar, there has been an explosion in the number of place to get your nails attended to. I cannot fathom where all these extra nails are coming from. If there was a population explosion … those nails would not be needing such extreme attention, just a pair of 75 cent scratch mitts. 

Along with the now familiar sight of big pits dug everywhere awaiting the pouring of foundations for half million dollar condominiums (often where rental buildings used to stand –I’ve counted three flattened in a few block radius from here) it’s becoming apparent that folks will only be able to drink coffee, get their nails done and have the choice of fourteen sofa shops. They will be unlikely to be able to buy a loaf of bread or pint of milk because of the way the city is changing. Jane Jacobs warned of the dangers of this.

It’s all part of the turbine that’s decimating the place in advance of the 2010 olympics. I love the luge and the bobsleigh like any other, but the socio-economic inequality and further poverty that’s a byproduct of this turbine is frightening: there’s no mention of plans for social housing, the cost of living is hopping up, the ordinary citizens are dodging swinging cranes and closed pavements while some property developer rubs his tummy. Sport should be for and of the people. They raised a flag to celebrate three years til the event. (To a chorus of nearby protests) The big sweeping brush is getting ready. To dispose of “eyesores”, to push people further to the margins, to create new cycles of poverty. The sport gets lost in all the click of powerpoint presentations, the bidding for marketing contracts, the building of audacious facilities. Yet the actual sport has far more incommon with surviving the adversity of the alleys in the city, gathering up empties. Nobody ever won the bobsleigh clicking on a computer.

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